When you’re in business, you have to be careful about how you look at money.
Of course, money is relevant to any business: you’re gonna have to make some. The trick is not to revere money, to not be focused on money.
Lemme give you an example.
After we started selling autographed baseballs at Steiner Sports, it wasn’t long before we were making solid money on them. We had found a good niche, so of course we wanted to milk it, capitalize as much as possible.
We discussed some obvious options: charging more per ball, getting players to sign more balls for the same fees, finding a cheaper way to ship them…all of the logical ideas you’d come up with in that situation.
But in reality, none of them were going to have a significant impact.
Then we thought more about the balls, and the people who bought them. We did some customer role-playing: “I just bought this great Derek Jeter-signed ball. Now what do I need?”
Then it hit us. Cases! We were selling all these great balls, but without anything for our customers to put them in.
So we started buying glass cases, and selling those. And that decision did positively affect our bottom line.
It’s like I say in my book: “If you want more business, don’t pay attention to the money. Pay attention to the thing that makes the money.”
When we were focusing on the margins we made on each ball - revering money itself - we were helpless. But when we honed in on our customers, and the product itself, we were golden. And that was the approach that led to the money.
Money’s always relevant to the equation, of course. But it’s never the heart of it.
What about you? Are you revering the almighty dollar?
Or are you revering the parts of your business that lead to the almighty dollar?
Did you know that the most successful people in the world never come up with an idea first? That’s because the most successful people do the best job of improving an already existing product or service.